Stoddart denies Yoong being dropped

Minardi team principal Paul Stoddart has denied that Alex Yoong will be dropped from the team next year. After he failed to qualify for three Grands Prix this season, Stoddart sidelined Yoong for more testing experience and replaced him with BAR...

Minardi team principal Paul Stoddart has denied that Alex Yoong will be dropped from the team next year. After he failed to qualify for three Grands Prix this season, Stoddart sidelined Yoong for more testing experience and replaced him with BAR test driver Anthony Davidson for two races.

Stoddart was reported by German news agency SID to have said Yoong would not have a contract with Minardi in 2003 and that he was looking for an experienced driver, possibly an American.

This would be in line with the rumours that former CART driver Bryan Herta is a contender for a Minardi drive next year. American Herta joined the team at the Thunder In The Park weekend but has yet to have another outing.

However, Stoddart recently said he was interested in Davidson and fellow Brit Justin Wilson for the future. Stoddart was optimistic about Davidson: "Clearly if he (Davidson) does a good job for us, then he'll be on our list of drivers that we are seeking to get in 2003."

Wilson, who at six feet three has troubles finding a car big enough to accommodate him, was also in line to replace Yoong but was again hampered by his height. Stoddart intends to build a chassis big enough next season and commented: "Justin's most definitely in the frame for next year."

According to Autopsort, Stoddart has dismissed the claims that Yoong will be dropped: "This is absolute nonsense," he said. "I have not said any such thing. My position has been completely consistent whenever I have been asked questions on this subject: no decision has been made on Minardi's driver line up for 2003."

"All the names about which there is speculation are worthy of consideration and might be in with a chance, but we're not under any pressure to make a decision at this stage."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Anthony Davidson , Justin Wilson , Bryan Herta , Paul Stoddart
Teams Minardi